BA Candidate - Madison Kelts Art Education, History, and Cultural Theory.
Madison’s studies focus on the relationship between cultural production, pedagogical theory, and political activism. Their work as an America Reads/Counts tutor at PS 20 in lower Manhattan drew them to question how young people learn—or might unlearn—systems of power. They also worked as a teaching assistant in a creative writing class at the University Settlement Society of New York, an organization that provides educational and social services to immigrants and low-income families on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Courses like Jamie Berthe’s “Postcolonial Theory & Visual Culture” and the arts workshop “Art, Activism, and Beyond” asked Madison to think about the role of art and media in remembering, historicizing, and proliferating political movements. Diane Wong’s “Asian American Politics” seminar influenced their understanding of their Singaporean American identity and how building a transgenerational community can help heal and empower. Madison’s coursework in museum studies and AB Huber’s “What is Critique?” seminar offered perspectives on the role that cultural and educational institutions can play in social transformation.
Madison works to practice what they have learned from studying history and critical theory in both student-led and NYC-based grassroots activism and in their creative writing and studio art classes. This fall, they will explore these interests further when working with Gallatin’s Great World Texts Program and at Brooklyn’s Interference Archive